Spiritual Life

Colby’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life provides for the religious and spiritual well-being of the entire Colby community. Through connections across campus, our team of chaplains and advisors invites us to bring our whole selves–heart and soul, questions and convictions–to the Colby experience.

Whether you are looking to connect with your religious or spiritual tradition, to learn about traditions or perspectives other than your own, or to find a hospitable place for community and conversation, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life is here for you.

Pastoral Care and Conversation

Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life, Kate Smanik, Jewish Chaplain Erica Asch, and Catholic Campus Minister Charles Demm are available for conversation and pastoral care for all members of the Colby community. Be in touch if you are looking for a support group as they are formed often.

Religious and Spiritual Communities

Colby seeks to maintain a vibrant group of campus religious and spiritual communities.

    Catholic Campus Ministry

    The Catholic Campus Ministry serves Colby’s Catholic community and engages in dialogue with those of other faith traditions. It encourages those at any stage in their journey of faith to step closer to God. Prayer, worship, community, learning, and service are the main components.

    Mass is celebrated Sundays and Holy Days at 4:30 p.m. in Lorimer Chapel (when Colby is in session). All are welcome to attend and encounter the Lord. Fr. Dan Baillargeon and Fr. Matthew Gregory of Corpus Christi Parish are the priests who serve Colby.

    The Catholic Campus Ministry and Newman Council (the student-led Catholic club) host activities such as discussions, outings, retreats, prayer services, and service projects, providing a variety of ways for students to grow in their faith. Social and recreational activities to build community are also an integral part of the program. You can also connect with Newman Council on Facebook or visit the website for Corpus Christi Parish. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

    Charles Demm (cademm@colby.edu) is our Catholic campus minister. Be in touch with questions or concerns.

    If you would like more information, feel free to contact the Catholic parish at Colby Corpus Christi Parish of Waterville, Maine: 207-872-2281, ccmoffice@gwi.net

    Jewish Life

    Colby Hillel is the home of Jewish life on campus. From home-cooked Shabbat dinners and High Holiday celebrations to social events and learning, Colby Hillel provides a Jewish community and rabbinical support to students at Colby. You can join us each Friday evening for a short candle-lighting ceremony in Pulver Pavilion, stop by our headquarters in Pugh 252. Learn more on the Colby Hillel website.

    Colby Muslim Society

    The Colby Muslim Society gathers regularly with members of the local Waterville community for Jumu’ah Prayer, Fridays at 1 p.m. in the Rose Chapel, for holidays, and for occasional text studies and events. The presidents of CMS are Fatimah Ali and Wassif Hussain.

    Please contact Prof. Tariq Ahmad—Faculty Advisor for the Colby Muslim Society—for more information.

    Hearthside: Christian Community Dinners

    Join us Sundays at 5:30 p.m. in Lorimer Lounge for dinner. Together we will spend time in prayer and answer the question “How is it with your soul?” Dinner is open to all.

    Meditation Group

    The meditation group meets in the Rose Chapel Mondays and Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The sitting period is 30 minutes, followed by reflection and discussion. Each session is led by Colby’s Meditation Advisor Jing Ye, a certified Focusing Oriented therapist.

    Group Drumming

    Group drumming meets on Thursdays at 4pm in Rose Chapel. This group, led by Alfonso Ortega, provides students with a chance to connect to their creativity, release stress and build community through shared music making. No experience necessary!

    Affiliated Christian Fellowships

    Please note: affiliates are not employees of Colby College. They are recognized by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and work on behalf of an external organization with a particular Colby constituency.

    Intervarsity Christian Fellowship

    Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at Colby College is a community of students dedicated to reaching Colby College with the Word of God and developing a community of believers and non-believers alike to form a safe and fun environment to thrive and love the Lord.

    IVCF meets Wednesday nights at 8:00pm in Rose Chapel for worship and on Thursday nights at 7:00pm in Mary Low coffee house for a time of community fellowship.

    Affiliate: Laura Corbett, ivcfcolby@gmail.com.

    Global Friends Christian Fellowship

    Building bridges of friendship between international and American students at Colby and families in the Waterville area community through food, fellowship, Bible study, and mentorship.

    (most) Fridays 6:00 p.m.: Dinner at the Cruz homestead. Rides leave from Mary Low Coffee House

    Affiliate: Rev. Cito Cruz, citocruz@live.com.

    Staff/Faculty Christian Fellowship

    Prayer, each third Wednesday of the month, Rose Chapel.

    Contact: Vivian Wood, vlwood@colby.edu

    Multi-Faith Programs

    Mlti-faith programs offer an opportunity to build community across religious lines and engage energetically with difference. Members of the world’s tradition—atheists, agnostics, and seeker—all are welcome.

      Multi-Faith Council

      mfc-f12b_2

      A weekly gathering of a religiously diverse group of Colby students. We meet on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 in Lorimer Lounge to build community, discuss things of importance, and plan events for the Colby community.

      Faith in Action Alternative Spring Break

      Students come together across religious and moral traditions to learn about issues of social importance, serve in meaningful ways, and connect with community leaders and change agents. Trip applications are due each fall, and each spring the group prepares and travels to Baltimore, Md., to serve and learn about food insecurity through a variety of community partners. Contact Lucy Soucek or Regina Martinez for details.

      youtube.com/watch?v=1uGoGorOWK0 Video by Reggie Huang ’19.

      Multi-Faith Fellows

      A student leadership team, building opportunities for community and cooperation across lines of difference. Meet this year’s multi-faith fellows:

      Katie Carlson ’20

      I’m a sophomore from Old Greenwich, Conn. I grew up attending unaffiliated church services with my family, during which I loved to escape and take my dog for a walk in the woods—a practice that soon became my own version of religion. These days, I identify as spiritual and I enjoy learning about a variety of religious traditions through Multi-Faith. I am deeply interested in how faith affects and connects people. Multi-Faith pushes me to consider the critical, existential questions we often evade in everyday life, and I love the community that we create within that space.

      Tenzin Choephel ’18

      Regina Martinez ’20

      I am a sophomore from El Paso, Texas, and I am a Roman Catholic (but it’s complicated). I am really thankful for being part of Multi-Faith Council because it is a place of great conversation about what really matters to us and why. I feel free and encouraged to question my beliefs and learn about other people in an intimate and judgement-free context. I am also pretty funny.


      Weekly Events on Campus

      Weekly occasions are open to all members of the Colby community. Come join us.

        Catholic Mass

        Sundays, 4:30 p.m. Lorimer Chapel.

        Celebration of the Holy Eucharist with our partners from Corpus Christi Parish. Meals and fellowship follow regularly. Contact: Charles Demm (cademm@colby.edu)

        Hearthside: Christian Community Dinners

        Sundays 5:30-6:30, p.m., Lorimer Lounge

        Join us Sundays at 5:30 p.m. in Lorimer Lounge for dinner. Together we will spend time in prayer and answer the question “How is it with your soul?” Dinner is open to all. Contact: Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life, Kate Smanik, (kate.smanik@colby.edu)

        Meditation Practice

        Mondays and Tuesdays 4:00 p.m., Rose Chapel.

        Non-sectarian guided meditation, followed by discussion led by an experienced practitioner and leader. Contact: Jing Ye (jye@colby.edu).

        Multi-Faith Council

        Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., Chapel Lounge

        Dinner and discussion of issues related to faith, religion, and spirituality. Our diverse student good practices pluralism in action. Contact: Interim Dean of Spiritual Life Chrissy Cataldo, (chrissy.cataldo@colby.edu)

        Group Drumming

        Thursday, 4:00 p.m., Rose Chapel.

        Drumming helps build community, reduce stress, engage with something greater than yourself and fosters creativity. No musical experience necessary. Contact: Alfonso Ortega (aortega@colby.edu).

        Jumu’ah Prayer

        Fridays, 12:00-2:00 p.m, Rose Chapel

        Join Colby Muslim Society and members of our local community for guided Friday prayer. Contact: Faculty Advisor for the Colby Muslim Society Tariq Ahmad (stahmad@colby.edu ).

        Shabbat Candle Lighting

        Fridays 5:45 p.m. candlelighting, above Pulver, 6:00 p.m., Dinner, Hillel Room, Pugh Center.

        Welcome the Sabbath with Hillel with brief candlelighting and prayer, followed by a homecooked Kosher dinner. Contact: Erica Asch (elsasch@colby.edu).

        Intervarsity Christian Fellowship

        Wednesday worship 8:00pm, Rose Chapel ~ Thursday Community gatherings 7:00 pm, Mary Low Coffee House

        Our affiliated Christian Fellowship gathers for Bible study, singing, and fellowship. Contact: Laura Corbett (lauradcorbett@gmail.com)

        Exploring Meaning and Purpose

        Lives of Purpose

        Lives of Purpose (LoP) is dedicated to engaging a select group of first-year students in local service and community building around active reflection on ethical and/or religious commitments. If you’re an incoming student who wants to be involved in the community, develop deep friendships with your classmates, and ask big questions about who we are and what we ought to do, please join us. Contact: Alyssa Chesney ’20 (acches20@colby.edu)


        Post-Graduate Opportunities

        These programs provide faith-oriented, post-graduate opportunities and volunteer experiences. There is a wide variety of backgrounds and spiritualities represented in order to match you with the best possible position to fit your background and interests. Most of these programs are open to members of any (or no) religious tradition.


        Religious Holiday Policy

        Colby College is supportive of the religious practices of its students, faculty, and staff. The College is committed to ensuring that all students are able to observe their religious beliefs without academic penalty.

        The College will enable any student to make up any course requirements scheduled during a religious holiday that is observed by that student. Students are expected to inform course instructors within two weeks of the beginning of the term of any religious observance that will conflict with coursework. The faculty member will then work with the student to find a reasonable accommodation that will allow the student to complete the academic work. In addition, no student will be required to participate in College events such as athletic commitments, lectures, or concerts on these holidays.

        Approved by the faculty Dec. 4, 2013

        Local places of worship

        The chaplains offer the following directory as an aid to Colby students who would like to become a part of a local worshiping community. Local places of worship enjoy having Colby students worship with them and share in their congregational life. If you do not find your denomination or faith represented in this listing please contact Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life Kate Smanik, (kate.smanik@colby.edu)> and she will work with you in locating and making contact with your religious tradition.